When online gamers become race car designers – and they have, with the reveal of Ford’s Team Fordzilla P1 racer that is the first real-life race car designed in collaboration between gamers themselves and a car brand.
While seeing real cars transferred to computer games is commonplace, this is the first-ever time an auto-manufacturer has brought to life a gamer-collaborated virtual car – yet to be featured in a game – with a physical model.
The journey of the Team Fordzilla P1 race car started in March this year when gamers were asked to vote on the package and features of the car on Twitter, including seating configuration, engine position and cockpit definition. Nearly a quarter of a million fan votes were submitted throughout the polling process.
“Since launching Team Fordzilla in 2019 we’ve done things differently, playing to our strengths and our unique approach to gaming” says Emmanuel Lubrani, Team Fordzilla . “Our innovative P1 race car is the perfect example, using our knowledge of the automotive world to bring to life a merging of the real and virtual worlds.”
The Team Fordzilla P1 race car features an exterior designed by Arturo Ariño and an interior that was the vision of Robert Engelmann, both Ford designers.
The race car is built around the monocoque structure partially covered by a large, hyper-transparent jet fighter-style canopy, protecting the driver and co-driver. The transparent canopy not only blurs the boundaries between the exterior and the interior, but it also emphasises the race car’s unique F1-like driving position.
The exterior of this race car is the combination of a sleek GT-like front end with sculped front fenders and extremely sculpted bodyside panels, with their highly memorable twist and floating buttresses visually connecting the cockpit with the rear wheels. The rear end is completely exposed and celebrates the aerodynamics and racing circuits rawness.
In the cockpit, you’ll find LED notification units, keeping the driver and co-driver up-to-date on the track status in their peripheral view. In addition, an integrated screen on the steering wheel enables live data exchange with the team at the pit wall. The whole interior is designed to help the race car driver to minimize any sort of distraction during the race and heighten the enjoyment of racing.
Team Fordzilla P1 is Ford’s first ever car built digitally without any face-to-face interaction throughout the process. Due to the current pandemic, it was designed by a team who had never met, working remotely, spread across five different countries and built in just seven weeks – that’s less than half of the time it would normally take. The finished build is a full-size, inside-outside model with extreme proportions and truly unmistakable character.
Co-created by gamers for gamers, the hypercar features a few special touches that speak to the sim-racing community. On the floor in front of the co-pilot’s seat there is an AFK (Away From Keyboard) message, a playful reminder that occupants of that seat are away from keyboard. A #levelup graphic acknowledges that gamers and racing drivers aim to better themselves each time they play or race, while a #liftoff graphic is a nod to the lifting off of this race car from a virtual world and transitioning it to the real one.
On the front of the car by the lower spoiler there’s the most important message; a GLHF (Good luck have fun) reminder to every gamer and racing driver to truly have fun and enjoy the ride.
The dimensions of the Team Fordzilla P1 race car is as follows:
- Length: 4731 mm
- Width: 2000 mm
- Height: 895 mm
- Wheels: Front tyres 315 x 30 x r21. Rear tyres 355 x 25 x r21
Would be nice to see this actually gain an engine and get out onto a real race track.